Friday, September 30, 2016

Transition

ACFF.  Those are my daughter's current grades. I am beaming with pride, as you can imagine.

So yeah, the transition to middle school has been pretty rough. I've started forcing her to choose her fashionable ensembles the night before each school day in a desperate attempt to make the mornings a bit less chaotic. Not that it helps. She frequently leaves without breakfast, running out the door like Dagwood Bumstead. I thought she was faring okay academically, though. Thought.

As I'm sure is the case with most school districts, our district posts attendance, assignments, and grades online. I've had access to this parent portal for years.  However, it was seldom used in elementary school. I mostly just logged in when I needed to add money to her lunch account. I decided to log in on Monday and have a look-see.  It's a good thing I don't have a heart condition (yet). Here is what I saw: five unexcused tardies for science class, failing grades in two classes, and 11 missed assignments.  I just about hit the roof.  She was supposed to go to a friend's house after school on Monday. I sent her a text. "COME STRAIGHT HOME." I jabbed the letters into my phone hard enough to hurt my thumbs.

My child is pretty smart. She does well on tests and such. I've been keeping an eye on quiz/test scores. She usually scores very high (and in one case she scored over 9000% on a quiz when her teacher apparently entered the score incorrectly). However, despite her performance on tests, her teachers can't overlook missed assignments.

I do not know how this little situation has gotten so far out of hand. We ask her every day if she has home work. "Um, I don't think so," she usually says. You don't think so?! I mean, we're not asking her if she thinks it might rain - we are asking her if she was given an assignment. Most teachers don't say, "Do it if you feel like it, kids. If not, no biggie."

Shortly after making my unfortunate discovery, I reached out (via email) to the teachers for whom she was missing assignments. They all responded promptly and seemed glad that I give a rip. I'm sure they frequently encounter parents who are very "whatevs" about their child's education. All confirmed that she could still turn in those assignments. Better late than never, I guess.

When we got home from work on Monday, the mister and I had a lot of words for our wayward child. She burst into tears. Because drama. She is full of reasons why she can't stay on top of her assignments. She claims that the teachers write the assignments on the board and then cover them up with other things. I find that hard to believe - I think her teachers legitimately want her to succeed so I really doubt they are playing "Guess the assignment" with her.

I am now checking the parent portal daily - sometimes several times a day. This way, I can bug her about missed assignments as soon as they show up as late.  I just wish she wasn't so dramatic about everything. It really is a tough transition - I get it.  I am hopeful that she'll get the hang of it.  The unexcused tardies were incurred when she was late getting from gym to science. I know that three minutes is not a lot of time and I know that changing in/out of gym clothes does take extra time. However, other kids are obviously pulling it off so mine has to make it work, too.

At home, her electronics turn off automatically after school so that she can get her homework done. However, that doesn't stop her from rolling around on the floor with Grover or finding other ways to stall and waste time. There are days when I wonder if she does have a touch of ADD.

I'm hopeful that she'll figure it all out in time. It's just hard to watch her struggle. She's never been an organized kid.  On a more positive note, she is making lots of friends and is doing well in show choir.

When she makes the transition again as a freshman in three years, I am for sure getting my own apartment at that point. That's all I'm sayin'.


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